Thursday, August 12, 2010

Repo Men - DVD Review


Starring Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Liev Schreiber, Alice Braga and Carice van Houten.
Directed by Miguel Sapochnik.

Sometime in the future - a murky, shapeless future - strictly privatized health-care will result in expensive organ transplants with outrageous interest rates where it's been made legal for repo men to cut your organs out if you can't pay. This was the premise for the junky Repo: The Genetic Opera not long ago, and even with the same basic premise, this movie is about as bad, just for different reasons. Where R:TGO seemed to be aspiring to be terrible, trying to be the next Rocky Horror cult film, Repo Men thinks it's saying something.

The first third isn't too bad, setting up the world, the psychopaths who have fun cutting people up legally. Jude Law (Remy) and Forest Whitaker (Jake) have a decent buddy chemistry, and Liev Schreiber becomes a master at offering that fake reassuring smile when we know his evil will eventually manifest itself.

When Remy goes out to do "one last job", as his wife has threatened to leave him if he doesn't quit, he gets zapped by faulty equipment. He wakes up to find he has his own new heart, one that he has to pay for. This is where I got yanked out.

I was giving the movie the ugly, brutal, inhumane society it'd created, but if you're on the job, and it's your own company's faulty equipment that nukes your heart, doesn't the company have to pay for it? Wouldn't they give him a special deal? Wouldn't this world be full of lawyers salivating at the chance of slapping this artificial-organ company with a lawsuit? This movie doesn't want you to think about things. Ever.

It's also when Remy now has an artificial heart that the movie decides to start taking itself seriously, at its own peril. The soundtrack gets all somber, and he meets an underground society of people with defaulted loans on their artificial organs, hiding, unable to pay. Now wifeless, he even gets a new love interest.

Toward the end, there's one reveal that demonstrates how jaw-droppingly stupid one character is, and that gets topped off by one of the worst twist endings in movie history. Just because I didn't see it coming doesn't make it good.

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